A bug out bag keeps you from bugging out in emergency situations. Packed with items that can mean the difference between life and death, this survival bag is always included in any smart adventurer’s trek into the wilderness. However, it is not just essential to hikers and wanders, a bug out bag is an essential safety precaution against the elements should anyone become stranded. You never know if your car might break down on the side of a road, or in a blizzard. But, just having a bug out bag means nothing unless it packed correctly with the right stuff.
Here are some essentials to any well packed bug out bag …
- Hatchet or Axe
If you need to cut wood for a fire or to build a shelter, an axe is essential. It’s also great for self defense against wild animals. Make sure the ax has durable handles and that the head is made of forged steel
- Tent or Bivy Sack
When camping, your tent is your shelter. Make sure it is waterproof on all sides, including the floor, with a closure. Some hikers prefer a Bivy Sack which is lighter to carry than a tent. It slips over your sleeping bag to protect your entire body, including your head, from the elements.
- Winter Bug Out Boots
Hypothermia or frostbite are a big threat when you’re out in the cold. Insulated and durable boots are essential to protect your feet and your whole body. Make sure they are waterproof and lightweight, with solid gripping soles.
- Communication Device
A cell phone may do you no good when you’re in the wilderness without service. That’s why packing a two-way radio is a great idea, or you might want to consider a satellite phone. Some even have GPS built in. You can contact help and let rescuers know where you are, or you can find how close you are to the nearest road or civilization.
- First Aid Kit
This is one of the most important items in your bug out bag for any type of accident or mishap.
- Sleeping Bag
Sleep is essential to life and to staying alert. A fleece lined sleeping back is the best way to keep warm at night and to enable you to drift off to sleep without worry about freezing to death. Make sure it is waterproof and insulated.
This one should go without saying, but it’s the type of food you pack that matters. You don’t want to weigh down your bag with heavy food that isn’t going to sustain you for long periods of time. The best food to take along are beef jerky, power bars, protein bars, granola bars, dried fruits, nuts and seeds. You can also pack some stew or soup.
Winter gloves are an essential to keeping your hands dry and warm. Frostbite attacks fingers and toes first. You’ll want a glove over a mitten, and you want the glove to be insulated and water proof.
- Snow Goggles
Better than sunglasses, snow goggles take care of the glare while protecting your eyes from blowing debris, rain, sleet, snow, and ice.
With 90% of our body heat escaping through our heads, it is important to keep our heads covered. Bomber hats and beanies are a great way to keep our core temperature warm. Make sure it is insulated and waterproof, with drawstrings to keep wind out and to keep it secure on your head.
- Insulated Water Bottles
Water is essential. We can only live 3 days without water. An insulated water bottle will keep your water temperate, and is great for coffee and tea.
Your jacket should not be bulky, but should be insulated and contain sweat wicking components. It should also be a wind breaker and waterproof to protect you from rain, wind, and snow. Rolled cuffs will protect snow and ice from getting into your jacket.
- Lighting And Batteries
Be sure to pack some flashlights, headlamps, and other types of lights, and make sure you have enough batteries to keep them going. Waterproof headlamps are great for handsfree seeing in the dark, and in blizzard or foggy conditions.
- Mylar Jackets
The space age blankets act as thermal insulations with it’s heat reflective layer reflecting 90% of our body heat back to us.
- Navigation Systems And Maps
A GPS device can be a lifesaver in locating roads or towns close by, or to alert rescuers to where you are. A compass is another light weight tool that can help you stay on course.
These cords are great for building shelters, lifting heavy items, rigging a pulley system, or snaring animals.
You never know when you’ll need a shover. If you get stuck on the road in a snowstorm, you can dig out your tires, or when camping, it can be useful for digging holes for a shelter, and much more.
- Ski Mask
A ski mask protects your face from frostbite due to ice cold wind, snow, and sleet. Look for waterproof ski masks that are insulated and that have breathability.
- Swiss Army Knife
Having a Swiss Army Knife can help in many situations. It can free you if you ever become trapped, help build shelters, and serve as self defense against animals.
A portable stove is essential to boiling water and cooking. Remember that eating is essential to keeping your energy up.
- Sanitation Supplies
Poor hygiene can leave you open to infection, and in the wild, an infection can spread quickly. Make sure to pack had sanitizers, toilet paper, soap, and shampoo.
- Winter Socks
Extra socks can prevent frostbite. If your socks get wet, immediately change into those extra socks or you could lose your toes. Three extra pair are recommended.
- Signaling Equipment
Flares and whistles are more dependable than phones, that can lose their signal, and even two way radios, that can run out of batteries.
- Fire Starters
Carry lighters and matches to easily start a fire. Yes, we know you learned how to start a fire in boy scouts, but sometimes time is of the essence.
- Wool Pants
Wool is the best fabric to keep you warm in freezing cold conditions. In fact, nothing keeps you warmer, so add some wool pants to that bug out bag and stay warm.